Steeves/Trail Mix: hang out mid-air but come out to vote

While hanging out in your new hammock tent, consider how you'll vote on Monday, and here's some info from the candidates.

Mid-air camping looks way more comfortable than sleeping on the ground

Hanging out between a couple of trees is a terrific way to camp.

Forget this whole idea of trying to find a spot to sleep between rocks and pine cones, where the dampness and critters have easy access to your hide.

Tents are a thing of the past, except perhaps to change in.

Today, campers are into mid-air camping.

And, although I confess I haven’t tried these ones, I have used hammocks and I love the idea of not trying to wrestle with the ground. In fact, it sounds even better than a mattress for comfort.

Now, I’m not talking about your standard, plastic rope net hammock that you buy for dad for Father’s Day. This is so much more comfortable, you might want to buy one for mom for Mother’s Day. (You can see where my bias lies, and mine are both gone so there won’t be any hurt feelings here…)

A couple of fit-looking young people camped out near us on the weekend and pulled out a couple of ropes from the car to set up camp. As they unravelled the two ropes, it was like the butterfly making her way out of her chrysalis.

What appeared, within minutes, was a pretty skookum-looking hammock covered in a light diamond-shaped rain fly, strung between a couple of trees.

Apparently, it’s made right here in B.C. too.

Pretty nifty.

They’re called Hennessy Hammocks and they’re pretty versatile as well as wrapping up into an extremely small and light weight package for backpacking.

There are a few politicians around the province who will have lots of time to use these innovative little tent hammocks after the dust has settled from Tuesday’s provincial election.

Locally, the Oceola Fish and Game Club sent out five questions for the Kelowna Lake Country candidates vying for the seat currently held by Norm Letnick, and I detailed those in last week’s column, with a promise to provide you with the candidates’ answers in today’s column.

What a surprise (and a bit of a disappointment) to find that all three candidates’ answers were very similar to all five questions—and all supported the club’s position on the issues.

I assume that each candidate toed the party line in responding to these questions on fish and wildlife policy issues, so that all the local candidates’ answers would be similar, no matter what riding they’re running in.

Question one asked if candidates favoured returning revenue from licence fees to the resource instead of it going into general revenue and all agreed.

Question two asked about support for a science-based approach to fish and wildlife management, and all said yes.

Question three was about residents’ priority in access and harvesting of fish and wildlife, and all supported resident priority.

Question four asked about support for a landscape-level approach to resource extraction and use and all did.

Question five asked about compensation from revenues from extraction going to re-investment in fish and wildlife habitat and management and all supported that concept.

Now B.C.’s 42,000 members of the B.C. Wildlife Federation can hold the feet of whichever party ends up in the ‘hotseat’ to the fire on these issues, and members of the Oceola club are to be commended for ensuring they have responses to their questions from the candidates.

The next question is, have you asked your questions of your candidates yet and gotten answers? There’s only three days left before election day and it’s your turn to put your foot where your mouth is, so better be prepared.

 

Congrats

A couple of local outdoors enthusiasts brought home awards from last week’s BCWF convention in Richmond.

Congratulations to Bethany Froehlich of the Peachland Sportsman’s Association for her receipt of the Frank Shannon Junior Conservation Award for all her efforts to organize events to introduce youngsters to the sports of hunting and fishing, and to lobby government to change legislation that is not benefitting the fish and wildlife resource.

We should also be very proud of an incredibly passionate outdoors person, who looks out for our interests in lobbying governments as well as is involved in a raft of volunteer activities with the Oceola Fish and Game Club and as a director on the board of the BCWF. Jesse Zeman was presented with the President’s Award for Volunteer Contributions at the convention. Congrats Jesse.

 

Weather

With the unseasonably warm weather, there’s some good news and some bad news. First of all, I notice the spring wildflowers immediately withered and keeled over, figuring that summer was here and it was already time for them to return to the earth and get ready for next year’s bloom period. In cooler springs, their bloom can last and last, but this year it’ll be short-lived for many.

The good news is that the weather is glorious for getting out and enjoying the outdoors in many different ways.

Do be aware that creek levels have risen rapidly with melting snow, so keep back from the edges and do restrain children and pets as well. It’s not wise to raft down rivers like Mission Creek when it’s in full rage like this. Aside from the drowning possibility, you may bump hard against the underside of a bridge when the water’s as high as it is. And, it’s still rising.

Be careful out there. Stay alive and vote.

Judie Steeves writes about outdoors issues for the Capital News.

 

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com